It is sometimes interesting to read the European perspective on American events.
Alexandre Adler in Le Figaro thinks the defeat of Joe Lieberman in the Connecticut Primary marks the alliance of the heirs of old-fashioned Patrician Anti-semitism with the New Left, and predicts this “slap in the face” to Jewish democrat voters may very possibly provoke the final Exodus of this key constituent of the Roosevelt-era democrat party voting bloc alliance from what is rapidly becoming something completely alien to them.
(translated by JDZ)
We know very well that over the course of a few decades in complex situations small causes can produce great effects. The defeat in the democratic primary election of the senator from Connecticut, Joe Lieberman, seems, at first sight, a secondary episode of the political battle, primarily related to the very great number of voters absent on summer vacation rather than with the much more noted, but undoubtedly conjectural, rejection of the Iraqi policy of George W. Bush.
These perfectly logical explanations do not, however, take into account the dynamics which, even at this moment, underway as a sequel to this electoral battle, will find their conclusion at the beginning of November with the election of a third of the Senate, because Lieberman, rudely evicted from his own party, has just announced that he will run as an independent candidate with the neutrality, if not the tacit support, of the Republican Party and the White House.
Admittedly, Joe Lieberman is not simply an innocent victim who has devoted himself to following faithfully his constituent’s opinions. His very critical attitude towards the escapades of President Clinton when the latter was menaced with impeachment, argues neither in favor of his honesty, nor in favor of his authentic moral rectitude. It was, moreover, on the part of Al Gore a sign of profound baseness of character to choose Lieberman as his running-mate for the presidential race of the year 2000, so as to distance himself from outgoing president Clinton, whose job performance was still exceptionally good. However, Lieberman has not been punished for his very real sins; but, on the contrary, for his undeniable courage in the War on Terrorism, for his continued support, in the face of adverse winds and tides, of the Near-Eastern strategy of George W. Bush.
His adversary, a young billionaire leftist of the name of Lamont, very openly wanted to make this battle the crucial moment of affirmation for the new pacifist and isolationist wing of the Democratic Party, which has been triumphing little by little over the moderates. If Senator Kerry again succeeded in 2004 in containing the pacifist-populist forces whose spokesman, polemicist documentary-filmmaker Michael Moore, had become the flag-bearer, subsequent events ultimately led to the defeat of the pragmatic approach among democrats. Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean since then became Chairman of the party. Kerry himself inflicted great harm in his presidential campaign upon the presidency. And now that Lieberman has been thrown out by a militant wing which uses the weapon of the blog massively, there is no taboo against noting the conspicuous Jewish Orthodox affiliation of the outgoing senator, who has not hesitated to return to the Capitol on Friday evenings, escorted by a procession of police cars obliged to drive to their steps. While the studies of some political economists rather unfortunately inspired denunciations of the excessive influence of the Jewish and Israeli lobby on the foreign policy of the Bush Administration, the winner of the recent democratic primary did not hesitate to criticize the State of Israel for its warmongering. Just like Howard Dean, and like his neighbor Hamilton Fish, Lamont has joined the party of the Protestant patriciate of the past to the extreme left, bringing with him a heritage of hostility toward Israel characteristic of his social background, in former times one loyal to the Republican Party of Eisenhower, like the grandfather of the current president, who was… also a senator from Connecticut.
It is not impossible that, if current tendencies continue, we are witnessing the last upheavals which will complete the transformation of the Democratic Party. The party which had been, since Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the party of union members (which Lieberman always defended without hesitation), a party overwhelmingly patriotic, in love with the military and the draft, fundamentally hostile to all forms of isolationism, and finally the party of minorities mistreated by White Anglo-Saxon Protestants.
What is conventionally called “neoconservatism” is nothing other than the movement, more or less quickly, by which the skilled workers, the anti-isolationists and, more and more, those closest to the people, the Catholic communities, Irish and Italian, join the Republican Party by rejecting the new democratic left. While Jewish intellectuals (of greater or lesser reputation) orchestrated this movement following the end of the war in Vietnam, they did not remain any less a minority within a community always in the majority firmly Democrat. With the election of a Republican Jewish mayor in New York, Michael Bloomberg (who very recently left the Democratic Party and succeeded the most famous of the neoconservatives, Rudy Giuliani), as with the rallying of the Californian Jewish electorate to the candidacy of Schwartzenegger, here now Connecticut’s slap in the face may cause the swing of all the great centers of Jewish votes – New York, New Jersey, Miami, Chicago – in the direction of a Republican Party which integrates the Catholics more and more, and calls in a very visible fashion to Middle Class Hispanics and blacks.
We are certainly at a turning point of both American domestic and foreign policy, but the neodemocrats have not triumphed yet. It remains to be seen, indeed, if the American people who placed their confidence in Roosevelt, Truman, and Kennedy will be able to identify themselves with a pacifist, anti-Zionist, and narcissistic party, whose group direction will be given the lead by the humanitarian lamentations of enthused starlets and the producers of screen spectacles who aspire to direct the State. These people do not prepare us for cold realities which many fear, but are quite simply the impulse toward frivolity of the primary world power.
Hat tip to Matthias Storme.